Parents want their kids to be successful. Teachers do, too. And we can all use all the help we can get. In this insightful book, master teacher and mother of four Katie Novak, EdD, reveals the most effective strategies for supporting all kids in becoming successful, lifelong learners.

In this upbeat and cleverly illustrated book, Novak—author of the bestseller UDL Now! A Teacher’s Monday Morning Guide to Applying Universal Design for Learning in Today’s Classrooms—gives parents clear guidance for how best to work with their children and their children’s teachers.

Novak introduces the research-based framework of Universal Design for Learning (UDL), and shares tips and tools for using UDL principles to unlock the doors to academic success.

Let Them Thrive is available now in paperback and ebook formats wherever books are sold!

View a list of Katie Novak’s other books


Let Them Thrive - Parent Guide to UDL

Let Them Thrive provides parents with a practical understanding of how education works – and how it can work better – for their children. Every learner is as unique as his or her fingerprints. But one-size-fits-all schooling doesn’t account for those variations. In this highly readable book (with unique hand-drawn illustrations), bestselling author, educator, and parent Katie Novak introduces the research-based framework Universal Design for Learning (UDL). Parents learn the origins of UDL in the learning sciences and in practice. (UDL is prominent in the federal Every Student Succeed Act). They also learn strategies, tips, and tools to support their children’s learning in school and in life. Let Them Thrive is an important new contribution to the growing literature on UDL, the first such book directly aimed at parents.

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Praise for Let Them Thrive

“Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is an elegant framework for addressing the quite natural differences among learners in curriculum design. In this highly readable book, Katie Novak lays out UDL principles and practices in a plainspoken and useful way, showing how inclusive education really works in the classroom and at home.”

– David Flink, Cofounder and Chief Empowerment Officer of Eye to Eye National, and author of Thinking Differently: An Inspiring Guide for Parents of Children with Learning Disabilities

“While Universal Design for Learning has changed how many educators think about teaching students with disabilities, Let Them Thrive brings UDL’s inclusive message to a broader, general-education audience. This is a very useful tool for helping parents understand UDL and explain it to educators, administrators and policymakers.”

– Ricki Sabia, parent advocate and Founder, National UDL Task Force

“In an engaging and conversational voice, Novak shares valuable tips about how parents can become informed partners in the effort to improve education for all learners, especially those with disabilities.  She offers specific classroom-based examples of how teachers can customize their lessons to meet individual students’ needs. Throughout the book, she makes the case for why parents and caregivers are so important to this process.”

– Paula F. Goldberg, Executive Director and Co-Founder, PACER Center

“The book is full of colorful, anecdotal analogies that parents will find applicable to their own lives. The book’s concrete suggestions take what might feel like an overwhelming venture of implementing UDL and make it very doable.”

-Mindprint Learning

“The book’s bright metaphors, sample lessons, and anecdotes will make the UDL method appealing, even to readers with no teaching experience.”

– Kirkus Reviews

About the Author

Katie Novak Education ConsultantKatie Novak is a practicing leader in education as the Assistant Superintendent of the Groton-Dunstable Regional School District in Massachusetts as well as an internationally recognized expert on Universal Design for Learning implementation. With 15 years of experience in teaching and administration and an earned doctorate in curriculum and teaching, Novak designs and presents workshops both nationally and internationally focusing on implementation of UDL.

She is the author of three other books: UDL Now!Universally Designed Leadership (with Kristan Rodriguez), and UDL in the Cloud (with Tom Thibodeau).

You can find her online at and on Twitter at @KatieNovakUDL. Learn more about Katie Novak.

Sample Interview Questions

  1. How is education today different from in the past and what impact do these changes have on teachers and students?
  2. In your book, Let Them Thrive, you talk extensively about student variability. How can teachers effectively work with students from different backgrounds and with different aptitudes in the same classroom setting?
  3. What are some instrumental tips you can offer to parents who are hoping to help their child succeed in school?
  4. The basis of this book is to help parents understand the education framework called UDL, or Universal Design for Learning. In a nutshell, what is UDL? What is all the hype about?
  5. You speak about how educators must activate three networks of the brain to assist student learning. What are these three networks and can you give us analogy that will help our listeners/viewers understand how they need to work together for learning to occur?
  6. With technology today, students have a world of information at their fingertips. How does that influence how teachers teach?

Press Inquiries & Interviews

Katie Novak is available for press interviews. Schedule an interview with Katie Novak by contacting Lindie Johnson at